Chapter

Respiratory System

Robert M. Stern, William J. Ray and Karen S. Quigley

in Psychophysiological Recording

Second edition

Published in print December 2000 | ISBN: 9780195113594
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199846962 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195113594.003.0010
Respiratory System

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Respiration refers to the process by which oxygen is supplied to cells and carbon dioxide is removed. The aspects of respiration that psychophysiologists usually measure are breathing rate and amplitude, the latter being a measure of the depth of breathing. Breathing amplitude can be measured either directly (the true volume of the lungs) or indirectly (using a measure such as the circumference of the chest). Some methods of direct volume measurement also allow one to assess the nature and amounts of gases that are being expired from the lungs, such as carbon dioxide. In addition, one can measure aspects of the respiratory cycle such as the inspiratory duty cycle (also called the inspiration fraction) which is the ratio of inspiratory duration to the total respiratory cycle duration. This chapter provides an overview of the respiratory system and describes five methods of recording respiratory variables: spirometry, the air-pressure pneumograph, impedance pneumography, air temperature, and respiratory inductive plethysmography. Another method, the strain gauge, is also considered.

Keywords: respiration; respiratory system; breathing rate; breathing amplitude; inspiratory duration; spirometry; pneumograph; impedance pneumography; strain gauge; respiratory inductive plethysmography

Chapter.  5362 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Psychology

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